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Resolutions Part 2: Breaking Out of the Cycle of Criticism

What I take the most pride in is not anything material, a sales number, ranking or even a goal. Feeling the most pride develops from being truly, uniquely myself and succeeding BECAUSE of it. When I first entered this business as a young (and dumb) 22 year old fresh out of college, people said that I would never last in this business in this area and that the rednecks would eat me alive. Well, I'm still drawing breath after working with Mama June and the Honey Boo Boo clan, so I'm happy to report the rednecks were actually quite kind and enjoyable to work with as buyers. ;)

The goals are not the end product. They're the steps to get you there. They're necessary and you'll need to go through part 1 for part 2 to come to fruition. No skipping ahead! ;)

Accountability and being critical are two different animals. Holding myself accountable is a key to my success and I do it daily in relation to my goals. I reflect on what's worked, what hasn't and where I can improve. I don't stay in a place of being negative in what I didn't accomplish or what I didn't do right. That's the difference between being accountable and being critical. The former is an opportunity to bring positive actions and experiences into your future. The latter is a regressive place that will not allow you to grow and move forward.

If you don't meet a goal, if you don't perform a key action, don't spend time hating on yourself. There are enough haters outside of us and we say they don't deserve our time, so don't spend that energy on an internal source of negativity. Instead, reflect, learn and grow. By that, I mean reflect on the experience, the people involved, your part and what could have been done differently, improved and then learn from that carrying it forward into growth potential for yourself.

Stop this:
I can't believe I ate that piece of chocolate cake when I was already having trouble fitting into my clothes (We've all been there, right? Chocolate is my kryptonite!)

Realize this:
Your life, all that you've experienced both good and bad, all the "mistakes" you've made and the joys you've felt have brought you to the place you now find yourself. We often say we waste time, we make mistakes, we're a screw up in this way or that, but truth be told none of it was screwed up, mistaken or wasted because it made us who we are.

If you read my posts regularly, you'll hear me reference my childhood, years of teen angst, in essence my formative years as challenging. Certainly, nearly everyone has challenges, but mine were more difficult than most. A defining moment in my life was in my freshman year of high school. Being teased, taunted and harassed for being gay, my guidance counselor called in the principal who essentially told me to assimilate. To change myself to include mannerisms, way I spoke, carried myself, dressed, essentially who I was to be more like the perception of what boys were supposed to be like in high school. Making a decision at 14 in reaction to that guidance to always be true to myself, live each day as genuinely, uniquely me was a defining moment. Why should I change myself to fit what others have a problem with? Why should I internalize other people's problems with me and make them mine? Those problems are theirs alone and exist outside of me which is where they should stay.

Everything that has happened in your life brought you to this exact place to read these words. None of it was a mistake, and nothing was wasted. My formative years weren't fun. I don't have happy memories, but I wouldn't change a thing because it's made me who I am: a completely self made, confident and capable, insightful and caring person that can give and relate to others in a way I wouldn't be able to if I hadn't experienced those challenges.

If you have a habit of criticizing yourself (or others) set a goal to rid yourself of this quality. Instead, reflect, learn and grow.

This process empowers you, allows your best potential to surface and you will be filled with greater hope, energy and promise... and you'll feel pride! You will look back on where you've come from, what you've accomplished and how you got there, then you'll be able to help influence others to do the same. That's exactly the legacy I hope to leave with my life. In the end, it's our relationships with other people, how we can inspire and help them in this life that matters most. To do that though, you must be your best! For help in getting there, email

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